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Bad Carma (An Accidental Anecdote)

2008-04-24 - 8:16 a.m.

Still Mentally Reliving: Meeting part of the cast of BSG, plus James Jean & Mark Buckingham

Listening To: Morrissey, Hot Chip, MGMT, The Breeders, Chris Cornell

Quote: "Damn, that dog HATES pirates!" - Zach, to Brad & Ryan J., witnessing a dog barking at a pirate

So I'm driving to work yesterday morning and more than likely daydreaming about putting up a new Facebook picture that shows me flexing my huge muscles while riding the Superman Coaster at Six Flags with Maura Tierney, Jessica Biel, and Evangeline Lilly. Then I get sad when I realize there is no such picture in existence since Evangeline wouldn't get on the coaster that day because she'd eaten waaay too many pieces of fried dough beforehand and wasn't feeling top notch. Thanks for ruining the photo op, EVANGELINE! God. So I drive up to the wallet raper gas pump at the Gulf Station at the end of Silver St. and debate whether to buy the Globe after I fill up. Sure, why not? The Sox squeaked one out the night before and the Celtics are in the playoffs. There'll be plenty of funnery to read. Plus, more pictures/stories of Hillary Clinton can help give me the strength to scratch my eyes totally out before lunch time! As I'm getting out of the car to begin pumping the gas my car jostles slightly forward due to what has been an awkward push to the rear bumper. I turn and look behind me. There's an old lady in a blue PT Cruiser with her hands up in the air and yelling, "Ooooh mmmmy Goooood! What have I done?!" Sigh. So I suppose it's going to be this kind of party, eh? Well, somebody break out the mashed potatoes, 'cause it's gonna be a real donnybrook of kwazy proportions!

I fully get out of the car and look at the back of my car. Things appear to be fine. She "hit" me going about .5 mph and her front bumper kissed my rear bumper. This wasn't going to require me to promise my first born to AAMCO. Old Lady, who I will refer to as "Minerva" from here on out, creaks out of her car and carries her 85 year old bones over to where I'm standing.

"I think we're supposed to exchange insurance information," says Minerva, she says.

"No, no. I think we're ok. There doesn't seem to be any damage. You just bumped me."

"Are you sure?"

"About the damage or not needing to exch . . . you know what? Honestly, we're fine. You just barely bumped me and you can't even tell on the bumpers. There's not any marks that I can see!" I say with hoped finality. Because I'm stupid. And I think it will be that easy. Despite the fact that I deal with old (and I mean older than eldery) people and the activity can never be described with words like "easy" or "quick".

"Well," starts Minerva hesitantly, "I do think it's quite illegal for us to leave the scene like you're suggesting."

"Ah, no. No, we're fine. Seriously. You're good. I'm good. It can't even be qualified as an 'accident'."

"You don't think we need to call a police officer?"

"I . . . I really, really don't think we do. If anyone would be requesting insurance information or needing to call the police it would be me and . . ."

"So you ARE going to call the police, then?" Minerva jumps in.

"NO. No police for us. I think if you look at our bumpers you'll realize everything is just fine. I'm serious. We're lucky it didn't cause any damage," I tell her as I turn around to finally start pumping gas. I open the gas tank when . . .

"Young man, it would make me more at ease if you'd at least check the other side." I put the gas pump back into its holster.

"What?" I say, noticably distressed.

"The other side of our bumpers. Just to make sure."

I pause for about 3 seconds both for effect so she can see that I'm annoyed and because I really AM annoyed and trying to process that this woman is singlehandedly going to make it that I never get to work. Which, at this point, I'm now late for. She wants me to check the right side of the back/front of our cars and if it will make her less of a Nervous Pervis I'll just do it. So I walk around the front of the Bee-Mobile, I mean, my Chevy, and stand across from her on the other side. She continues to check out the left side and tut, tut over imaginary twisted metal and carnage while I find . . . the nothing that I knew I'd find. Out of the corner of my eye I see a dark green Subaru Outback pulling in the entrance behind Minerva's car. I can tell immediately that it's being driven by an old lady that looks a.) older and b.) crazier than Minerva. If I truly am a crazy magnet, and I believe myself to be, than my frequency must have been stuck on the geriatric setting. How come it never gets stuck on the Punky Brewster setting? Sigh. So I see this Subaru wielding lady, who I'll call Mildred, pulling into the bank of gas pumps to the right of Minerva and myself. Except she's really not that close to her gas pumps. She's closer to us. And our cars. And while she's starting to slow down, a bit, she's uncomfortably close to our cars and specifically? ME. She's getting closer. Minerva continues to rub her boney finger sack over her bumper and shaking her head. I tire of this whole affair and stand up straight, having given up looking for damage that doesn't exist. Mildred is about 10 feet from me and while she has slowed more she hasn't exactly stopped either. My head tells me there's no way this lady is going to run into me. My head is an idiot. Because? That's exactly what happens.

Mildred's bumper hits my body - my knees/thighs, at an perpendicular angle to the rest of my person so I crumple in some what of an 80 degree angle and fall to the left, on to Mildred's hood, with my hand hitting first, and bracing the "fall", which wasn't extreme, but still shocking and certainly embarrassing.

"Um, I . . . hello? Hello?" I quietly say to no one in particular, wondering, as usual, if my life is secretly a televised event for some other planet slapping their knees at my ridiculous exploits.

"Oh my God! Oh my God!" Mildred starts screaming.

"I'm fine, I'm fine!"

"Why don't you learn how to drive?!" Minerva shouts across our cars at Mildred, "You could have seriously injured that young man!"

"Are you ok?!" Mildred shouts from her car. She doesn't need to shout. She hasn't moved it from where she hit me and is about 6 feet from me.

"Seriously. I'm fine. I'm fine. I need to pump some gas and go to work," I tell them, even though at this point, I wonder if the universe if trying to send me a message and I should just go back home and go to bed. How many octogenarians is God going to keep violently throwing in my path before I get the message? Also, I just got hit. By a car. I don't know if I mentioned that or not.

"Should we call the police?" Minerva "helpfully" suggests. Mildred's face goes white. Maybe she's on the lam. Maybe she's really D.B. Cooper. Maybe she cooks children in her candy house. I don't know and I don't care. I need to get out of Ground Zero for Zach Damage a.s.a.p.

"You know what Ladies?" I shout louder than I need to, "I'm pretty sure we're all ok here. Mildred, be more careful out there and Minerva, you too. I'm going to pump my gas now and go to work." They can tell I'm annoyed. Well, at least I think they can. They may have the memories of goldfish and be wondering who the hell I am and what am I yelling about.

I walk back over to the pumps and Mildred goes to park her car. She bustles into the convenience store and stays in there for the remainder. I think, inexplicably, SHE is now scared of ME. Funny, I don't remember hitting HER with MY car. As I'm pumping my gas, Minerva starts to pump hers. She makes it look like a Herculean task. I would normally offer to help but old people had already used up all their bonus points for the day with me and it was only 9:15 in the morning. Which, you know, made me super late for work. I can tell Minerva is staring at me. I slowly turn my head left to aknowledge her.

"You know what I think young man?" Minerva stage whispers, "I think some older folk don't know when it's time to give up their licenses!" Then she winks at me. SHE winks at ME! Like her and I are in on the joke together. Like she didn't start this whole cascade of the damned domino waterfall of stupidity when she bumped my damned fender!

"Tell me about it," I say, looking up at the sky, more to myself than Minerva. She wishes me a good day as I go to drive off and waves to me the entire time until I'm off Silver Street on entering the Spaulding Turnpike.

I walk into work and Joyce and Cindy start harrassing me, in a jokey way, about the fact that I'm late.

"Nice of you to finally make it," Joyce says as I approach the front counter.

"What happened? Did you run over an old lady?" Cindy, (of all things!), asks me.

"I wish."

It's been real,


ps - Hey kids! New poll! The last one, "What would have happened if the much protested Olympic torch had made its way through New Hampshire?" broke down like this: In 3rd place, with 4 votes was, "Rich would have heckled its Communist leanings, and then written the song, 'Red Torch Blues'". 2nd place went to, "Jeff would have thrown pizza at it and disappeared quietly and swiftly into the night" with 5 votes and 1st place, with 7 votes, went to the not only a member of the crazy old lady club, but she's also their Queen, "Nanny would have used it to better read Garfield comics in the dark" Hope you enjoyed. The new poll is below! Who wants some snowcones?! I do!!!! (Obviously.)

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